This year is considered "fifty years of Hope" and over two million dollars were distributed in 2008 to charities through the Classic event, but even so, the top fifteen PGA Tour golfers are MIA, most with no reason as to why this tournament is not worthy of their support.
Once distinguished as golf's best celebrity pro-am event with comedians ranging from Jackie Gleason to Jack Lemmon picking up the sticks for charity, the "Hope" seems to have lost a bit of its glamour and dimension. Utilizing Arnold Palmer as celebrity host (perhaps because he won the inaugural event) and, for the most part, only being able to conjure up a few old-time has-beens with some notables like Dan Quayle, Kurt Russell and Sterling Sharpe, I wonder when Tim Finchem will stand up for events of such illustriousness and not leave it up to freedom of choice? Can the PGA Tour impose a ruling to force more top-name golfers into faltering events?
Arnold Palmer recently mentioned, "I used to spread my tournament appearances so that I never missed a tournament more than two years in a row," but that was back in the day when guys were living paycheck-to-paycheck, not in this era where the top-100 golfers earn over $1 million per year. Also, events like the Bob Hope Classic were special and players would scramble to get a place in the field seeking publicity and possibly the status of being a winner or even having a top-ten finish.
To try and keep golfers interested in the "Hope", the tournament has even added the private Nicklaus venue, because guys like Phil Mickelson and Pat Perez voiced disapproval over the Classic course, but that has only lassoed in a few guys like Tim Clarke. Big names like Mickelson have not budged.
I just wonder if beloved Bob Hope mainstays such as the Classic and even the USO Tour will eventually become relics with a lack of consideration for the consequences?
Should fans even care whether or not another tournament bites the dust or are there simply too many events glutting the PGA Tour season? Unfortunately, for every event that fails, no matter how insignificant they may be to those who choose not to attend, the only ones that will suffer are those who depend on the charities receiving the funds.
This week Golf for Beginners wonders why Phil Mickelson has chosen the FBR Open as his season opener (we already know why Vijay Singh and Tiger Woods are not playing at this time). We also tell you how to pierce the wind utilizing your driver and offer a few quotes from golf's greats.
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